Monday, June 29, 2015

(week 22) First transfer...going to Crotone ( late post from 6/22/15)

 date: 6/22/15

Hey guys!
Well, this week was fun, even though not much really happened lol.
Some "highlights" I guess:
-after district meeting on Wednesday, I went on a 24 hour exchange
with the district leader while my comp went with his comp. it was
awesome. We went around and did a bunch of things, including 2
baptismal interviews, one being for one of our investigators. All went
well and she will be getting baptized on Saturday! 😅 the district
leader's name is Anziano Driggs (I call him Driggs the Niggs) and he's
one of my best friends in the mish. Unfortunately, he goes home at the
end of this transfer, so in 2 weeks, it stinks because honestly most
of my closest mission friends here are going home super soon, or
already went home. Ugh! Anyway...
-the next morning on Thursday, we went over to teach Alicia, the
mother/wife of our investigator family. She had plenty of great
questions, as usual, and fed us some bomb brunch too 😋 we had
pancakes and eggs and bacon and stuff like that. And obviously we had
American food, because she's American 😏 it was actually a really
great (and long) lesson and the Spirit was super strong. Anyway, we
had to leave right after and go back to get Anziano Drigg's stuff and
head back to Napoli to exchange back into our regular companionships.
It was a solid 24 hours.
-the next day, Friday, we did another exchange haha. The AP's
(assistants to the President) were making their way up to Rome and
decided to stop by and do an exchange with us. I was with my boy
Ashton, aka Anziano Alvey lol. Also one of my best buds, who also
happens to be going home at the end of this transfer...😓 it's a
bummer but it's all good. I learned a lot from my time with him--it
was super fun. We taught a less active and recent convert, as well as
some SICK finding in a beautiful park, got some bomb gelato, and even
played a little ping pong with the new convert haha. But while we were
finding we came across some very interesting people. Including a drunk
lady from the Dominican Republic, a couple Muslims from Senegal, and a
solid group of 16 year old Italian boys smoking cigarettes (like
always). The boys were pretty cool though. They didn't believe in God
because they have no proof, and when we said we know He exists, they
asked us how we knew, and so we took that opportunity to bare
testimony of how we know God is real. It was a great spiritual
experience, and just reinforced the testimony I already had of God and
His love for us.
-in the meantime, the other assistant Anziano Puff, and my comp got
their knees drained haha. Long story. But I got pics and stuff lol
-church was awesome and everything. But today I got an emergency
transfer call to Crotone so that's a bummer. Oh well haha
Well that's my week! Love you guys

Anziano Carter Blaise
AP made this before he left for home for Carter and other missionaries

McDonald's in Italy

Carter's last companion before transfer.  They were together for a few weeks only.

Monday, June 22, 2015

(week 21)

ok, well, another week has passed, and i'm sorry but nothing too eventful has happened haha.

The temperature is continuing to rise, as well as the humidity, and it's getting even a little tougher to reach out to people since people are taking off for vacation. however, good things are still happening. we have an investigator family of four, that i've previously mentioned, and they're making great progress. they came to church on sunday and not only stayed all three hours, but they also brought food and stayed for the post-church linger-longer (basically a potluck). it went really well. they absolutely loved church and said it felt like one big family. they made many really good friends here their first day, and they fit right in perfectly. they called us after we got home and expressed how awesome their experience was at church, and how much they were looking forward to next sunday. again, i dont wanna jinx anything, but this family will probably get baptized one day in the near future. i just hope i dont get transferred out before it happens (good chance i might). our other investigator, eleanora, is doin great. we visited her yesterday evening and she's super ready for her baptism on the 27th. the whole ward is super excited for her and her family. her and her family plan on going to the temple and getting sealed exactly a year after her baptism. throughout the week, we spent a lot of time trying to get our english course bigger, since a lot of investigators come from english course, and we have also been trying to reach out to some less actives we havent seen in a while. we also recently were told by our president that we can no longer go out of our areas on p-days except for once a transfer...aka, no more napoli (until the last p-day of the transfer). but we're gonna talk to the prez about that cuz napoli is only 30 mins away and some members houses we visit in the ward are like an hour and a half away sooo yeah haha.
anyway, i just wanna reflect on how blessed i am. its random, but true and can easily be overlooked. it's amazing to be out here, free of any health problems that could be holding me back from getting stuff done. that sounds random, but about half the missionaries in the mission have some sort of health problem, whether it began before or during the mission, that is in some way holding them back a little bit from getting stuff done. so i am super grateful for that. also, i've really come to see the Lord's hand in my life lately. I'm not sure if He just has more of an impact in my life now that i'm a missionary, or if i can just recognize it better because i dont have all of the distractions that i had before the mission. either way, His tender mercies have been upon me and the people i am teaching so much. it is because of these very tender mercies that I am still here on my mission, and havent given up yet. and it's because of these tender mercies that our investigator family finally came to church, and felt the comforting feeling of the Holy Ghost during their entire stay. I'm really starting to realize just how much us missionaries really are just instruments in the Lord's hands. He uses us to perform the miracles He sees fit. I know this Gospel is true, and with all the marrow in my bones I can tell you that this Gospel blesses not only the lives of every individual who accepts it, but the family as a whole. Families can be forever. I love this church, and I love my Savior, who atoned for the sins of the world, so that we may all one day be able to live with God again in the Kingdom of Heaven. I miss and love you all.

until next week,

-anz. carter blaise

testimony at zone conference

Napoli Zone

singing at zone conference


getting their new ipads for the mission


candid pic from zone conference

Saturday, June 13, 2015

(week 20) HoTTTT

well guys, it's gettin hot as heck out here haha. it's like almost 90 degrees farenheit, but wayyy humid, and we walk around all day so it's DRAINING me. hopefully i magically get some body change where i can be cold in this hot weather. the work out here is still a struggle, but it's coming along. nothin too crazy happened this week honestly, but there were some cool things :)

so on tuesday at english course, one of the students named Nada, who's like 50 years old, is originally from Croatia but speaks perfect italian and decent english. she's been coming to english course before I even arrived in Italy. anyway, she was chatting with me about 15 minutes before english course started, just about random things. then she said, "you know, I don't just come to english course to learn english. in fact, the main reason I come is because I have so much fun here and I feel good inside while I'm here. and whenever you guys share a spiritual thought, I feel that same good feeling even more." I was like, super caught off guard after that, in a good way. she had heard of the book of mormon before, because we have shared parts from it during our "spiritual thought" at the end of class before. and so, i had the impression to go and find one in the office. so i went real quickly, and there was literally a book of mormon in CROATIAN sitting right there on the desk. so i took it and gave it to her and explained that it was just a free gift for her because I knew she would enjoy it. she was sooo stoked haha. anyway, the next class, thursday, she came up to me and said how amazing it is and how much she loved the few pages she read and how grateful she was for me giving her this gift. I don't know where this will go, but I have high hopes for her!

our investigator family of 4 is coming along. slowly but surely. they couldnt make it to church this week, unfortunately, because they got super sick and were throwing up the night before. hopefully next week though...they're still super curious and asking lots of awesome questions. we hope to be able to have the opportunity to invite them to baptism this week, so we'll see how that goes.

we had some pretty awesome less active lessons this week, and we brought the senior couple, the Bryans with us to two of them. they're so awesome lol, they bought us pizza and gelato after one of the lessons! also, we had a lesson and dinner with an AMERICAN family on the navy base last night!!!! omggg it was awesome. the food, the english, the american looking house. it was awesome haha. Also, we get ipads thursday!! so i'm super juiced about that.

anyway, i love you guys a ton, and love hearing from you :)

-Anziano Blaise

Sunday, June 7, 2015

(week 19) anotha day anotha dolla

hey guys!!

aghh i miss you all. italy is gettin toasty haha but the last couple days have been perfect, like 75 degrees farenheit probably. so as you know, we had transfers thursday, and my new comp came from the heel of the boot of italy. he's in his 8th transfer in the mission and i'm in my 3rd (there are 16 total).

guys, i hate to sound negative, but its been a rough couple days with him. he's not exactly motivated to be fact, he pretty much doesnt want to be here. also, i speak and understand better italian than he does which means i'm basically the senior companion, when im not supposed to be. he finds any random task possible to keep from doing what we're supposed to do. whether it be studying or going out and finding. he also commented that "finding doesnt work; it's pointless" so you can imagine how that goes over for our work. i could go on forever about this subject, but bottom line is- i need your prayers!! i cant let him affect me and bring me down. the last thing i want is for him to rub off on me. it's going to be a rough transfer, being with someone who avoids missionary work, but I know its possible.

as far as other things go. not much is happening here. however, and investigator family of 4 we're teaching is making progress and we will invite them to baptism on wednesday after dinner!! they're sooo awesome. the mom is from Brooklyn, NY and the dad is from Napoli, Italia. so, all 4 members of the family are fluent in both languages (sweet). i have a strong feeling they will commit to baptism, but i dont want to count my chickens before they hatch! man, the mission is truly awesome. there's no other experience that could shape me the way this is shaping me. my priorities have changed significantly since I entered the MTC on January 21st. I'm so glad to be able to dedicate all my time to not only preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but LEARNING about it. my studies are super important to me, and i learn so much from the scriptures that i never knew was there. the privilege of being a missionary outweighs the seldom heartache i feel when i long to see my family and loved ones. I know this church is in fact the church of Jesus Christ Himself, and for this reason I am out here sharing it with those that will hear it; so that they may experience the joy that this Gospel has brought, and continues to bring me. I am the most tired and exhausted i have ever been, but i am also the happiest i have ever been.

I love you guys so much and am always thinking and praying for you guys.

until next week :)
-Anziano Blaise

Last pic before Elder Pingree left (trainer)

older pics but oh well haha i was reminiscing

more older pics and reminiscing

Memorial Day on base with the Americans

Week 16

Anziano Blaise and Pingree with Gisepe on his baptism day

Anziano Blaise and Gisepe on his baptism day

Mt. Vesuvius on p day

baptism was awesome
so was Vesuvius...

Week 18

hey guys!

alright, so this week wasnt too crazy, but some things are definitely worth mentioning. we got transfer calls on saturday and my comp is getting transferred to Palermo! i'm staying (luckily) and getting a new companion named Anziano Williams. I heard he's from Idaho and actually the same mtc group as my current comp. i'm pretty excited to meet him and start some new adventures haha. so as you can imagine we're pretty busy trying to say bye to these people before he takes off. today we're actually going to a memorial day bbq on the american navy base for our ward! super excited...and this fam that we've  been trying to teach for a while now finally has time to meet with us! so we met with them last week and talked about the plan of salvation. we have another lesson scheduled with them this wednesday, and are actually going to their house tonight because its their sons 13th birthday and he wanted us to come by! i'm super excited for this family, they're so awesome. the senior couple the andersons took off to their new area in rome on saturday..i'm gonna miss them a ton. the new senior missionary couple is awesome though, luckily. today, so far we just came up to napoli to get some Sobillo's Pizza, the best pizza in the world (literally) for my companion's last p-day in the napoli zone!! it's getting to be a real struggle to find new people to teach out here, because people wont even stop to talk to us on the street, but we're hoping for a miracle to come around. this work is tough but worth it, that's for sure. lately i've been gaining a much stronger testimony for the book of mormon and its importance and significance. I know that this book contains the truth, and that it is a gift to us from God. I know that He hears our prayers, and that He will answer all of them in His own due time. I know that one of the ways He answers our prayers is through this book. I know He wants us to try and find the answers we seek, and that with fervent prayer and determined scripture reading, we can find this answer that He has for us. I know that when we receive our answer, that we will feel a confirmation in our hearts, so that we know without a doubt that the answer comes from God. i'm so grateful for this book and the good it's brought me in my life thus far. I love you all so much and I miss you a ton. keep being awesome.

-Anziano Blaise